Last updated: August 5, 2021

Surely you would like to have a crackling fireplace on cold and dark days, which not only brings warmth but also creates a unique atmosphere. But don't you have the right equipment? In this case, you should consider an electric fireplace as an alternative. An electric fireplace not only imitates real flames, but can also heat your living room. The advantages also include safety and cleanliness.

With our electric fireplace guide, we want to help you find the best electric fireplace for you. We have compared different types of electric fireplaces and listed their advantages and disadvantages. This should make your purchase decision as easy as possible.




Summary

  • Unlike conventional fireplaces, electric fireplaces are powered by electricity and therefore only require a power socket nearby. In addition, an electric fireplace does not leave any dirt or soot behind.
  • With different technologies, an electric fireplace not only creates a realistic fire, but can even heat your home. No harmful substances or fire hazards are produced.
  • Most electric fireplaces create their flames using LED or water vapour technologies. A newer technology works with the Pepper's Ghost principle.

The Best Electric Fireplace : Our Choices

Electric fireplaces: Buying and evaluation criteria

In the following, we show you which criteria you can use to decide between a variety of possible electric fireplaces. These criteria should make your purchase decision much easier:

In the following sections, we will explain to you what is important in the individual criteria.

Heat output

Heating power is an important factor if you want your living room to be pleasantly warm in winter. Fan heaters, which are built into the fireplace, are responsible for the heating. This is now the case with almost all electric fireplaces.

Be aware that excessive heating with the electric fireplace can greatly increase electricity costs

How quickly and strongly you can heat up your living room depends on the power of the fan heaters. Usually, electric fireplaces have either 1000 or 2000 watts.

If you want to get your room warm quickly, you should buy an electric fireplace with 2000 watts of heating power.

Technology used

The reality of the flame differs depending on the technology used. The most commonly used technologies are basically with steam, LEDs or with the principle of Pepper's Ghost. While LED technologies only create a two-dimensional flame picture, you can achieve a three-dimensional flame picture with water vapour and Opti-Virtual technologies.

With water vapour technology, the flames resemble real fire the most.

Therefore, models with LED technology are often cheaper. So you should consider how much money you want to spend on an electric fireplace. Because in the end, the price range determines how realistic the flame picture looks.

Mounting method

Depending on where you want to place or hang your electric fireplace, you can choose between different types of mounting. Otherwise, of course, the furnishings of your home and the space available will play a role. In principle, you can distinguish between these types of installation:

  • Free-standing electric fireplaces: Such electric fireplaces can be placed anywhere you like in the room. This is perfect if you want to use your electric fireplace in different rooms.
  • Corner electric fireplaces: These electric fireplaces feature a triangular base and can be perfectly placed in all corners of the room.
  • Built-in electric fireplaces: A fireplace in this category is super suitable if your classic fireplace has been out of use for a long time and you want to put it back into operation. Such built-in fireplaces can then be installed as a replacement in an existing fireplace.
  • Electric wall fireplaces: If you have little space available, you should go for a wall-mounted fireplace. They are very space-saving because they are installed flat on the wall like a picture.

Dimensions

While the technology used in an electric fireplace has no influence on the dimensions, the sizes can vary greatly depending on the type of installation. Electric fireplaces exist in very different sizes.

Wall-mounted fireplaces are smaller and more compact than other models, while floor-standing fireplaces are often available in small sizes. It is best to calculate the dimensions before buying depending on taste or available space so that you can specifically search for a perfect electric fireplace.

Weight

The weight of an electric fireplace is mainly determined by its size. The smallest electric fireplaces can weigh around 4 kilograms, while larger ones can reach up to 45 kilograms. The weight is especially important for wall-mounted fireplaces, as the wall must be strong enough to hold the electric fire.

If you often want to move your electric fireplace, you should either buy a lighter electric fireplace or look for an option with wheels.

Electric fireplaces: Frequently asked questions and answers

In the following, we address the most important questions about electric fireplaces. We have selected the most important questions for you and answered them concisely. After you have read through the guide, you will have the most important information about electric fireplaces.

What is an electric fireplace?

An electric fireplace is mainly an alternative to the classic wood fireplace. Basically, they visually imitate the "real" wood fireplaces. As the name suggests, an electric fireplace is powered by electricity and saves you not only the costly purchase of wood, but also the cleaning.

This practical fireplace variant only requires a power socket in your vicinity and can therefore be used flexibly anywhere. (Image source: Timothy Eberly / Unsplash)

An electric fireplace is most useful when a house or flat is not suitable for a fireplace insert, for example because there is no flue. And it's often the case that you don't have the possibility or permission to install a wood-burning fireplace. Another advantage is, of course, that you can take your electric fireplace with you when you move house and continue to use it in your new home.

Another advantage is that many models have a full heating function. So if your electric fireplace has a heating function, you can do without an additional heater completely. Furthermore, the remote control allows you to set the perfect heating line for you simply from your sofa.

Electric fireplaces not only offer a realistic-looking flame, but also mimic the sounds of a real wood fire.

Electric fireplaces score highly on safety. Compared to wooden fireplaces, electric fireplaces pose no danger at all. In the end, it is not a matter of an open fire that has to be watched all the time. Electric fireplaces can be used without supervision and are therefore perfect for a household with children.

What types of electric fireplaces are there?

Below we present three alternatives of electric fireplaces for you to choose from. The main difference is the technology used. We have compiled the most important advantages and disadvantages of the respective operating technologies for you to get a better understanding of them.

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Electric fireplace with Opti-Myst technology Convincing fire pattern, flame height adjustable, energy-efficient, no background noise, large selection of models Water must be refilled regularly, costly maintenance
Electric fireplace with Opti-Flame technology Easy adjustment of flames by remote control, energy-efficient, realistic sound, little maintenance required, realistic fire image background noise, fire image only in 2D
Electric fireplace with Opti-Virtual technology realistic fire image, flame effect adjustable, pleasant fireplace crackling, energy-efficient, no background noise, little maintenance required high price, few models on offer

With Opti-Myst technology (or water vapour technology), a real three-dimensional flame image with smoke is created. The ultrasound turns water into light mist and subsequently this rising, cold water vapour is illuminated with xenon bulbs.

The water vapour also reacts to the draughts of air, which gives the flames a special dynamic. A positive side effect is the humidification and purification of the air in your surroundings. So, if you attach particular importance to a real flame image, the purchase of this electric fireplace is worthwhile for you.

Basically, it doesn't matter which technology you choose: each variant will give your evening a wonderful atmosphere.

The Opti-Flame technology is based on a rotating mirror that is illuminated by modern LED lighting technology. The mirror effect creates a realistic two-dimensional flame illusion.

The flame projection then emerges from the logs and supports the realistic image of the fire. In addition, with this technology, the colour, flame height and colour intensity can be easily adjusted to your liking via remote control. So if you can't or don't want to invest so much time and money in your electric fireplace, this variant is perfect for you.

Behind the Opti-Virtual technology is originally the principle of Pepper's Ghost, i.e. deception. This illusion is then previewed through the mirror and a semi-transparent pane. A flame reflection is projected back to the viewer, creating the impression that transparent objects appear and disappear. A convincing flame illusion can therefore be created.

How much electricity does an electric fireplace consume?

Basically, you directly influence the electricity costs with the consumption behaviour. It is important whether your electric fireplace heats or simply has a flame effect. The highest electricity costs are incurred through the use of the heating.

You can set your electric fireplace to two heating levels: 1000 watts or 2000 watts. To give you a better overview of the prices per hour, we have created a table for you.

Watt Price per hour
1000 Watt 29,42 Cent
2000 Watt 66 Cent

The electricity costs of an electric fireplace are generally very low if you do not use your electric fireplace as a full heater.

However, if you only want to use your electric fireplace for visual purposes, you will only pay three to four cents per hour.

So you shouldn't be put off by the cost of electricity, because many manufacturers have a high demand for efficiency and almost only bring models onto the market that function in an energy-saving way. Furthermore, you won't feel any remorse because you are ultimately acting in an environmentally friendly way.

How much does an electric fireplace cost?

There is a wide price range between the different electric fireplaces. Depending on the quality and size, the prices vary from about 100 euros to 7000 euros. Of course, there is no upper limit for the price.

According to specialist shops, it is recommended to spend at least 500 euros on a new electric fireplace.

You should bear in mind that the price is usually an indication of the quality. In addition, you cannot expect a realistic flame effect from very cheap models.

So if you want real flames and high quality, it would be better to avoid inexpensive models.

Additional features such as heating, crackling effect or a remote control will of course also influence the price.

What are the alternatives to an electric fireplace?

If you are looking for a cosy atmosphere and cosy flames, there are other alternatives. Each fireplace has its advantages and disadvantages. In the following, we briefly present three alternatives to electric fireplaces.

Type Description
Gas fireplace A gas fireplace looks similar to a wood fireplace and is fired with a fossil fuel. The gas produces little smoke and fine dust when burning, so the exhaust gases can be produced outside without any problems. A chimney is not required for gas fireplaces, but a suitable flue must be installed.
Ethanol fireplace Ethanol fireplaces are filled with the liquid fuel bio-ethanol. With these fireplaces, a real fire burns without wood or coal. You don't need a chimney for an ethanol fireplace either, because only water and CO2 are produced when it burns. You should bear in mind that it is an open fire source and caution is always advised when handling it. When refilling, you must never spill ethanol.
Wood fireplace In contrast to the above-mentioned variants, you need an approved chimney for the wood fireplace. This type of fireplace requires a lot of space for wood storage and good maintenance. Although such a fireplace requires a lot of effort, it creates a unique feeling in your living space with its real flames and glowing fire.

What are the advantages of an electric fireplace over a wooden one?

Not everyone has the opportunity to install a wood-burning fireplace in their home. But if you still want to buy a fireplace with flames that are as realistic as possible, an electric fireplace is perfect.

An electric fireplace can be placed in any room where there is a power connection. It can even be used in summer, when only a pleasant flame is lit without heating. (Image source: Jean-Philippe Delberghe / Unsplash)

Electric fireplaces are even superior to classic wood fireplaces in some aspects. For example, you don't need a permit or a chimney for your electric fireplace, just a power socket. That's why electric fireplaces are easy to assemble and use.

Electric fireplaces, in contrast to wooden fireplaces, are characterised by an extremely high level of safety and easy handling.

Since there is no real fire in an electric fireplace, there is no fire hazard. It should also be remembered that this fireplace is environmentally friendly: No harmful exhaust gases are emitted.

Since no wood is burnt in the electric fireplace, you are spared the annoying purchase and storage of wood. In addition, you save yourself the hassle of disposing of the ashes. An electric fireplace is not only clean and easy to use, but can also be used in winter and summer.

Conclusion

An electric fireplace presents a lot of advantages compared to a classic wood fire. You no longer have to think about buying wood or cleaning. Since there is no fire hazard, your electric fireplace can be placed in the house with small children without hesitation.

All you need is a power socket nearby and you can enjoy your romantic evening. Of course, there are electric fireplaces for every taste on the market.

Why you can trust me?

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